Plants are the most
important organisms in your biotic community. This is because they use
sunlight to produce their own food. The process is called photosynthesis.
Since they produce their own food, plants are also called
. Animals can't produce their own food, so they eat the plants.
In order to carry out photosynthesis, plants must have sunlight. All plants grow toward the sun to aim their leaves at the light. As they grow, the plants in a biotic community form three distinct levels, or layers. There are three layers of plants in a biotic community. Each layer is based on the height of the plants. The first layer is called the herb layer, and consists of the smallest plants. Mosses and seedlings are herbs. The second layer is the shrub layer. Shrubs are plants that never become as tall as trees, or are saplings of trees. The third layer is the tree layer. Trees are the largest of all plants.
The data that you collect in this survey will also be used in other activities. You are going to find out which kinds of plants are living in your area. You will find out how many of each type are here. You will also get to see the three layers that form a biotic community. From this information, you will be able to determine which plant or plants are most important to your biotic community. You will also decide which type of biotic community you have and give it a name.